Something going through the trouble of happening

March 15, 2020
A classic ‘pull over the car-picture’. One of the nicest I’ve ever taken in this category, and also one of the worst. I like it enormously for the landscape it portrays. I can’t blame myself for going through the trouble of taking it. But I never enjoyed this landscape. I never experienced it. Well, I did experience it, but in a way that leaves no mark on the photograph.

It looks calm, quiet, peaceful and inviting. Fact is though, that I never set foot in this landscape, it’s a view from an intersection of highways. Busy and noisy. Impossible to pull over, there were no parking spaces or even passing places. We stopped the car at the side of the road for me to get out, and I hurried to find a place to take the picture while P. drove off to pick me up shortly after. Honking cars and common sense were telling me I had to be as quick as possible. But I couldn’t find the right spot on the decending road. My position was either too low, or I didn’t have a view at all, blocked by a hill or compromised by a secondary road below me. I clinged to the crash barrier on both sides, to avoid being blown away by traffic or to keep away from the edge. An electricity cable was running through my frame (and not in a good way) no matter where I went. I started to doubt if what I had seen from the car even existed. Fragments of a landscape that I had mentally composed into something worthwhile before I even actually saw it.

I returned to the car empty handed. 

By removing the electricity cable I erased what most obviously demonstrated this reality, in favour of another: the mental image that preceded it. This is what I thought I saw from behind the side window, not what I was looking at when I clicked the shutter from behind the crash barrier.

Lofoten, Norway, 2019. Taken with the Nikon D750.